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Smart Centres Index

Smart Centres Index

The Smart Centres Index (SCI) was developed as part of our Distributed Futures programme and is an initiative to track the development of technology and financial centres across the world in their support for and readiness for new technology applications. It aims to help investors, governments, and regulators track the attractiveness of technology centres for new technologies and products by measuring how attuned centres and their regulatory systems are to attracting innovation and growth in Science, Technology, Energy Systems, Machine Learning, Distributed Ledgers, and Fintech.

SCI 5 Cover

The fifth edition of the Smart Centres Index was published on 24 May 2022. SCI 5 rates the innovation and technology offerings of leading commercial centres, tracking their ability to create, develop, and deploy technology.

The SCI is a factor assessment index, combining a number of instrumental factors - data measures drawn from a range of data providers across the world - and assessments given by business and finance professionals of three dimensions related to innovation and technology in major commercial and financial centres:

  • Innovation Support - the support provided by regulatory and other systems to innovation and technology in a centre.
  • Creative Intensity - the intensity of technology and innovation services and opportunities in a centre.
  • Delivery Capability - the quality of the technology and innovation work that is taking place in a centre.

131 commercial and financial centres were researched for SCI 5 of which 76 are included in the index. SCI 5 was compiled using 134 instrumental factors. These quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD, and the United Nations.

The instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the SCI online questionnaire. SCI 5 uses 2,083 assessments provided by 296 respondents.

SCI 5 Results

  • Leading US and Western European centres show a strong performance. Asia/Pacific centres continue to lag slightly behind, which is surprising given the technology and science strengths of China in particular.
  • New York maintained its first position in the index, with London second, and Hong Kong in third place.
  • Five Western European centres feature in the top 10, with four from the US. Hong Kong is the only Asia/Pacific centre in the top 10.
  • The average rating for all centres rose 2.3%, compared with SCI 4. Only five centres fell in the SCI ratings.
  • Only five centres rose 10 or more places in the rankings in SCI 5, while nine centres fell 10 or more places.
  • US centres generally rank lower for Creative Intensity than their overall rank; and Chinese and other Asia/Pacific centres score lower for Innovation Support, including regulation, than they do for the other dimensions.

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